Tidbits: R.A. 10022, FWRC or BK


June 7, 2011 – A  Migrant Workers Day Blog Post

What are the difference between  Section 19 of R.A. 8042 and Section  12 of R.A. 8042 as Amended  (R.A. 10022)?  and –  Who is responsible for the repatriation of OFW in Distressed?  

A:  ESTABLISHMENT OF A MIGRANT WORKERS AND OTHER OVERSEAS (OFRC or FWRC) FILIPINOS RESOURCE CENTER

R.A. 8042 Sec. 19 (Second Paragraph)

The establishment and operations of the Center shall be a joint undertaking of the various government agencies. The Center shall be open for twenty-four (24) hours daily, including Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, and shall be staffed by Foreign Service personnel, service attaches or officers who represent other organizations from the host countries. In countries categorized as highly problematic by the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Department of Labor and Employment and where there is a concentration of Filipino migrant workers, the government must provide a lawyer and a social worker for the Center. The Labor Attache shall coordinate the operation of the Center and shall keep the Chief of Mission informed and updated on all matters affecting it.

REPUBLIC ACT No. 8042 as AMENDED (R.A. 10022), Sec. 12

Section 12. The second paragraph of Sec. 19 of Republic Act No. 8042, as amended, is hereby amended to read as follows:

 “The establishment and operations of the Center shall be a joint undertaking of the various government agencies. The Center shall be open for twenty-four (24) hours daily including Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, and shall be staffed by Foreign Service personnel, service attaches or officers who represent other Philippine government agencies abroad and, if available, individual volunteers and bona fide non-government organizations from the host countries. In countries categorized as highly problematic by the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Department of Labor and Employment and where there is a concentration of Filipino migrant workers, the government must provide a Sharia or human rights lawyer, a psychologist and a social worker for the Center. In addition to these personnel, the government must also hire within the receiving country, in such number as may be needed by the post, public relation officers or case officers who are conversant, orally and in writing, with the local language, laws, customs and practices.  The Labor Attache shall coordinate the operation of the Center and shall keep the Chief of Mission informed and updated on all matters affecting it.”

***

B:  FWRC or Bahay Kalinga in Riyadh re: ADMISSION POLICIES

1) The  shelter admits female Household Service Workers (HSWs) who appear in person at the Philippine Embassy/POLO-OWWA within a reasonable period of time after they run away from their employers.

2) Upon admission, the HSW is oriented on BK House Rules and is informed of amicable settlement and repatriation procedures through the services of the Philippine Embassy/POLO-OWWA and the Saudi Social Welfare Administration (SSWA).

3) The shelter  does not admit HSWs who have long stayed with other employers or with fellow Filipinos after running away from their sponsors (so-called TNTs), but shall help them get endorsed to SSWA for clearance and exit visa procedures.

4) In specific cases, TNTs may be admitted with the written endorsement of the Embassy. Such cases include trafficked victims.

5) Those admitted are not allowed to work for other employers.

6) Those who were previously admitted but subsequently ran away from the shelter are not re-admitted.

Part of the assistance provided the wards at the FWRC is their endorsement to the Social Welfare Administration (SSWA) of the Saudi government within a reasonable period of time after mediation efforts by POLO case officers fail.

Counselling –  POLO-OWWA Riyadh provides counselling to OFWs who get in touch in person or by phone with POLO-OWWA officers for various queries related to their employment and stay in Saudi Arabia.

Repatriation AssistanceRepatriation services include negotiations with the employer, police and/or immigration authorities; plane ticket sourcing; booking and re-booking facilitation and airport assistance in Riyadh and in Manila.

***

C:  Who is responsible for the repatriation of OFW in Distressed

Under normal circumstances, it is the joint responsibility of the employer, the Philippine recruitment agency and the Saudi manpower agency (if there is any) to repatriate the OFW pursuant to provisions of Republic Act No. 8042, as amended by Republic Act 10022. In case the employer and/or the agency is unable to repatriate the worker, the Philippine government through the OWWA in case of regular/documented worker or the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) in case of irregular/undocumented workershall repatriate the distressed worker upon request of POLO or the Philippine Embassy.

The POLO does not maintain a stand-by fund for the repatriation of workers. Prior approval by either OWWA or DFA is required for this purpose on a case-to-case basis.

R.A. 8042, SEC. 15. REPATRIATION OF WORKERS; EMERGENCY REPATRIATION FUND. – The repatriation of the worker and the transport of his personal belongings shall be the primary responsibility of the agency which recruited or deployed the worker overseas. All costs attendant to repatriation shall be borne by or charged to the agency concerned and/or its principal. Likewise, the repatriation of remains and transport of the personal belongings of a deceased worker and all costs attendant thereto shall be borne by the principal and/or local agency. However, in cases where the termination of employment is due solely to the fault of the worker, the principal/employer or agency shall not in any manner be responsible for the repatriation of the former and/or his belongings.

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